In Cairo, a Christmas season tinged with sorrow

Catholic News Agency | 1/13/2018 | Staff
Click For Photo: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/Coptic_Christian_boy_lights_a_candle_at_a_church_in_Cairo_Credit_Christopher_Rose_via_Flickr_CC_BY_NC_20_CNA.jpg

Cairo, Egypt, Jan 13, 2018 / 04:02 pm (Aid to the Church in Need).- Marian Nabil Habib recently observed the first anniversary of what she refers to as “the martyrdom of my father.”

Nabil Habib was 48; he was among the 29 people who died Dec. 11, 2016, in a suicide attack claimed by ISIS. The targets were worshippers at St. Peter and St. Paul's Coptic Church in Cairo, also known as El-Botroseya Church.

Story - Details - Day - Church - Security

Marian, who is 15, tells her story, with some of the details of that dark day gleaned from the church’s security cameras:

“That day was a watershed in my life and the life of my family. I always feared that I would lose one of my family members and then it turned out to be my father, who was a good friend to me. I will never forget the details of that day.

Apartment - Compound - St - Mark - Coptic

“We live in an apartment in the compound of St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, where El-Botroseya Church is located. My father worked as a guard of the church. I celebrated my birthday two days before the attack and I exchanged laughs and jokes with my dad that day. Then, the day before the attack, my father did not seem normal. He came back repeatedly to our apartment to check on my younger brother, Fadi, who is two years-old.

“That Saturday evening, the suicide bomber had come to the church and asked dad about religious books, saying that he wanted to know more about Christianity; a deacon overheard the conversation and told the young man to come back the next morning at 10 am.

Sunday - Morning - Father - Man - Bomber

“On Sunday morning, as soon as my father saw the young man he recognized him; the bomber was quickly making his way to the women’s pews, looking confused. My father got on the phone with my...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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